Grapefruit Sound Lab (GSL) is the new project by producer and lauded film score editor, Robert Cotnoir. Cotnoir has been producing under the GSL moniker since 2013, having created a number of singles, LPs and EPs that reflect his unique sound and perspective on electronic music. His style, while generally very much in the house and disco house camps, seems to be composed in a different way and Cotnoir himself has said he’s influenced by almost every genre, including classical music.
For his upcoming album Eight Days Across America releasing on September 11, Cotnoir as GSL puts that diverse style to task, running the gamut of genres from disco house to big room EDM house to experimental electronica to classically-influenced folk music. He’s also collaborated with a number of talented vocalists like Gina Volpe, Amuka and Sarah Naughton to really highlight lyrics this time around. Cotnoir’s sound on this album is very much about philosophy and self-examination so the point really is about what each track is saying and to drive that home, it certainly helps to have some dynamite vox on the tracks.
While the album in its full form has not been released digitally yet, Cotnoir has technically been teasing singles on the album on Bandcamp and Soundcloud since last year. The single “Don’t Fall For It” appears on the album despite making a splash in its own right and being remixed dozens of times. With the experimental “Ave Maria” just having gone up on GSL’s Bandcamp, all the tracks on Eight Days Across America are effectively streamable. Cotnoir has said, however, that the album is best heard on the limited edition vinyl pressing coming out later this year, however, so vinyphiles should check out the information on Diggers Factory, listed below.
Aside from the beautiful folk/classical ballad “Dum Dum Gun” featuring Sarah Naughton, the afore-mentioned “Ave Maria” is probably one of the best crossover EDM tracks on Eight Days Across America. Musically it’s very experimental and sound design fans will instantly know from listening to this track how Grapefruit Sound Lab got its name. Sounds hearkening back to Tangerine Dream, early Philip Glass and even some Enigma are contained within, as the Ave Maria prayer is recited throughout the track in Korean, Spanish and English. It’s a statement piece to be sure, but it will also likely have mass electronica fan appeal.
Other highlights on the album are more typically house-driven, such as the also relatively new “The Flavors of Tears.” A mash-up of disco and progressive house, the catchy big room beat belies another concept piece. In Cotnoir’s own words, “I have read that it is becoming widely accepted by the scientific community that different emotions trigger different chemical compounds that are excreted in tears. Joy, sadness, mourning, anger, laughter, and pain all seem to release a different flavor, if you will…This is a song about just that.”
So, if you’re a big room house fan who also likes a bit of artsy commentary and sound experimentation, Grapefruit Sound Lab and Eight Days Across America might just be for you. As Cotnoir continues to branch out, we may also see more playing with folk, experimental electronica and classical so it’s going to be an interesting and fun ride.
For streaming tracks on Eight Days Across America, check out GSL’s Bandcamp or Spotify. For the limited run vinyl offering on Diggers Factory, click here. Also for some interesting video commentary from Cotnoir on each song, check out his YouTube Channel.